Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo has said Mercedes could end up "fooling everyone" in the Singapore Grand Prix after the team's quiet showing in Friday practice.
The German manufacturer had locked out the top two spots in FP1, but had a tougher time in the second practice, with highest-placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton only fourth quickest amid talk of the team possibly struggling with tyre degradation.
Ricciardo himself ended the session in third, with teammate Daniil Kvyat topping the timesheets, but the Australian refused to get carried away.
"I hope this is [Mercedes'] real pace," he said. "But, to be honest, I am still not looking to them tomorrow. I am sure they will turn it up and find a way.
"We will aim for [pole], whether we will get it or not is another thing. But I am sure Mercedes will fool everyone – we will do what we can to get as far up the grid as we can possibly get."
That said, Ricciardo was very satisfied with the day's work and said there was "more pace" in the car.
"If today is a telltale sign, we are looking pretty good," he said. "I hoped the car would be good around here and it looks like that will be the case.
"Normally Ferrari and Williams come a bit closer on Saturday, so we will see what they bring, but we are looking all right.
"We got quite a bit traffic in FP2, so we are even quicker than we showed."
Kvyat plays down expectations
Ricciardo's teammate Kvyat, who had set the benchmark of the weekend thus far, refused to commit to any predictions for Saturday.
"Hopefully we can carry this speed in to tomorrow, but it is not going to be easy," the Russian said. "We will try to do our best to be in the same position.
"We can get some good points, we have to push hard for it, but I don't have any particular expectations for tomorrow, it is too early."
Interview by Jon Noble